- What should I do if I am contacted by the Division of EEO?
You should respond to any contact by the Division of EEO promptly. EEO investigations are subject to strict time limitations. Any delay in responding on your part may result in a delay of the investigation. It is in the best interest of all County employees that a prompt investigation occurs.
- What if I am named as the alleged harasser/respondent?
If you are named as the alleged harasser/respondent, you have a significant interest in participating in the EEO process. Your participation provides you with the opportunity to refute the allegations and/or give your side of the story, and reduces the potential of a hostile work environment. If you do not participate in the process, the Division of EEO still has a legal obligation to continue the investigation and make a determination. Thus, it is in your best interest to participate.
If you are named as the alleged harasser/respondent you should try not to take it personally. Above all else, you should not engage in any adverse employment action against the complainant or other participants in the EEO process that could be construed as retaliation for the filing of the complaint or participation in the EEO process.
- What if I am contacted by EEO because I was identified as a potential witness to the alleged harassment, but I don't know anything about it?
If you are identified as a potential witness to the harassment, your participation is just as important as that of the complainant or respondent. Even if you think you don't know any thing about the harassment, you should still contact the EEO Office and schedule a time to meet with the Investigator.
- Can I bring someone with me when I go to talk to the EEO investigator?
If you belong to a union you are allowed to have union representation if you so choose.
- Can I be retaliated against for participating in the EEO process?
No, under state and federal law, and Erie County's Harassment Policy, everyone who participates in an EEO investigation is protected from retaliation by their supervisors or coworkers. Retaliation for participation in the EEO process is itself a prohibited form of harassment.
- Is my participation in the EEO process confidential?
The Division of EEO cannot guarantee that the fact of your participation in an EEO investigation will remain confidential; however, EEO strives at all times to keep the substance of employee communications confidential. Information about investigations is given out on a strictly need to know basis.